Skip to comments.[Britain's] Churches near last rites, says Carey
Posted on 10/12/2005 4:51:28 PM PDT by sionnsar
Britain's Churches are in such serious decline that if they were shops, they would have been declared bankrupt long ago, Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said last night.
In a bleak assessment of the future of Christianity in this country, he said that the Churches were approaching meltdown and the "last rites" could be administered at any moment.
In a lecture in a Buckinghamshire church, Dr Carey expressed his exasperation that his efforts to revive the Church of England in the 1990s had been frustrated by lack of support from the clergy.
He delivered a warning to his successor, Dr Rowan Williams, that his initiatives could meet a similar fate.
However, the former archbishop argued, however, that it was still possible to turn the tide if the Church did not "throw up its hands in despair"
His outspoken comments will dismay some Church leaders, who privately complain that he has repeatedly breached the tradition that retired archbishops refrain from stirring controversy.
But friends insisted that he was intending to indicate his backing for Dr Williams's Fresh Expressions initiative, designed to encourage alternative forms of worship.
Speaking at St Michael's church in Amersham-on-the-Hill, Dr Carey said that all the Christian denominations had suffered plunging congregations.
"No Anglican can be satisfied that only one in 50 people attend this national Church," he said.
Referring to an official report published this year, Dr Carey said it spoke of a Church "that is running out of cash and spending it on buildings, that has lost its vision and is becoming a club for the elderly." He continued: "The picture I have described is of Churches approaching meltdown rather than on the cusp of renewal."
However, Dr Carey said there was also good news. He cited the 2001 census, in which 72 per cent of the population described themselves as Christian, and said that there was still a "deep allegiance" between nation and Church.
He said the Church had to focus on mission from top to bottom" or it would become "an irrelevancy in the nation and a club for the old, the resigned and those tired of life."
Fantastic idea ! Fresh Expressions ! Liven Christianity up with some Wicca, some New Age... Just the thing.
Funny how returning to the Bible never enters their mind.
I'm sure that will pack the house.
Looks like we need to be praying for the churches in England.
Isn't that the proposal that includes having lap dancing lessons on singles night? ; )
I think the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon had some, um, pithy comments about such recently...
Yes. There were some figures presented in the past few months; the Brits (in general) seem well along the road to becoming an atheist nation. There don't seem to be many (church-going) Anglicans there anymore, though some of those who are are still delightful (I think "gadget" in Scots means something different from American, but I have forgotten it).
Like that'll work! Catholic mass attendance plummetted following the liturgical innovations post-Vatican II.
EXACTLY what I thought when I finished reading the article. Not a word about God, His Word, His Son, His Spirit. And they wonder why they're dying on the vine. So sad.
Should we ping the British FRers active on this site? They are either in denial, or frankly admit that "Serious Christianity isn't the one for us British."
As I think the other way round, it may not be such a bad thing if the lukewarm majority within CoE dies. I heard that the serious evangelical (Baptist and non-denominational) and Charismatic churches are full of wonderful and Spirit-filled Christians, and moderate success are from the evangelical wing of the CofE. As always, the churches that merely act as social institutions die, while those who are active in evamgelisms thrive.
It sounds like a bad case of the clergy to remember the message to the church at Sardis:
"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: `The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
"`I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.
Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.
We see what happens when you have church leadership who don't believe in the Gospel. How can you expect the church to prosper when the Archbishop doesn't see anything wrong with the new "inclusive" translation that throws out Revelation and who thinks being an honorary druid is fitting with being a leader of a major Christian denomination.
The one burning question I have is, if people don't believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God, the Word, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried, and on the third day arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father, the Jesus who said "if you have seen me you have seen the Father," what are those people doing being leaders of a Christian church?
Why would anybody want the little God they are offering to people? Would anybody think that their vision of the faith is worth dying for, much less living for, which can be even harder.
well, i will pray for the ignorant souls of the english who cant seem to find god. pray for the churches? lol, are you a comedian?
Thank you for your kind word- I've never been called 'delightful' before.
I think "gadget" means the same thing in the USA as it does here- a useful(?) electronic or mechanical device.
Though I am in Scotland (and it is a very serious sin over here to lump us in with England), our churches here need lots of prayer too.
Some of us are still trying to keep the faith, despite the misdirection of our bishops.
Blessings to you!
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"delightful": I read your blog every day.
I know about the Scots and the Sassena.. er.. English -- we certainly heard lots about that in Gaelic class: was "Brits" perhaps the wrong term? (I am still amused by the billboards we saw upon entering Edinburgh, for a Scottish newspaper: "The English Don't Get It.")
.....that has lost its vision and is becoming a club for the elderly....
This is England,right?
This sounds like PCUSA
Yes it is.
BTW, I read a *lot* of material every day for the Traditional Anglican ping list. Not all of the hundred-odd links I have, every day, but plenty. And your blog is a refreshing relief from the Sturm und Drang that permeate so many Anglican blogs.
Congratulations on the Top 100 Scottish Website, BTW.
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